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Yosef Albo

(c. 15th century)

Rabbi Yosef Albo was a philosopher and theologian who was also a disciple of the great Rabbi Hasdai Crescas. He composed the "Sefer HaIkarim," which provides a clear and comprehensive picture of the thought of his time. He carefully analyzed the meaning of "Ikar" and disputed his predecessors as to the number of ikarim. Albo was a participant at the famous Tortosa disputation in 1413-1414. In Chapter 25, Part III, there is a record of his critique of Christianity at the disputation (printed in Husik’s edition of the Ikarim) but this has been censored out of the Hebrew editions. He has highly original interpretations of Biblical passages and these have been collected in separate volumes. He saw the importance of the Mitzvah of honoring parents as that of guaranteeing acceptance of the kabbalah (tradition). Albo dealt at length with the question of how an Eternal Torah applies to constantly changing conditions.

Sources: Orthodox Union